Association, magazine team up for ski safety

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Clients often like to blame travel agents when things go wrong on vacation.

But the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), a trade association for ski area owners and operators based here, believes firmly that skiers and snowboarders need to be reminded of their own responsibilities when on the slopes.

In addition, ski instructors and on-mountain staff promote this concept through education.

In the interests of "getting them while they are young," NSAA this year, in conjunction with Ski magazine, is running a National Kids' Safety Poster Contest for children in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

In addition to prizes, the winning poster will be in Ski's October 2001 issue.

The National Safety Council; the National Ski Patrol; the Professional Ski Instructors of America; American Association of Snowboard Instructors, and Willis and AIG insurance companies also are working with the ski mountains to promote on-slope awareness and safety.

A national Your Responsibility Code, which was developed in the 1940s by the National Ski Patrol, is posted throughout the country via signage on the slopes, on trail maps and even on cafeteria napkins.

Travel agents can participate in the awareness effort by making a copy of Your Responsibility Code available to their ski and snowboard clients.

A partial list of the code's points follows:

  • Always stay in control.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way.
  • Stop in a safe place for you and others.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
  • Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
  • Know how to use the lifts safely.
  • For additional information, check out the following Web sites:

  • National Ski Areas Association -- www.nsaa.org.
  • National Safety Council - www.nsc.org.
  • National Ski Patrol -- www.nsp.org.
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